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California challenges legality of Huntington Beach's voter identification measure

California sues Huntington Beach over voter ID measure
California sues Huntington Beach over voter ID measure 02:27

California Attorney General announced a lawsuit filed by the state on Monday to challenge the legality of a voter-identification measure that was recently approved by Huntington Beach residents. 

"The right to freely cast your vote is the foundation of our democracy and Huntington Beach's voter ID policy flies in the face of this principle," Bonta said in a statement. 

The measure was narrowly approved by voters in the March primary elections, which amended the city charter to authorize the implementation of a requirement for voters to show identification when casting their in-person ballots. 

Bonta and California Secretary of State Shirley Weber content that the cities cannot exact local ordinances that conflict with state law. They also say that the integrity of elections and protection of hte right to vote are "matters of statewide concern."

"This voter ID measure conflicts with state law," said a statement from Weber. "Not only is it a solution in search of a problem, laws like these are harmful to California voters, especially low-income, the elderly, people of color, those with disabilities, and young voters."

In response to a request for comment, Huntington Beach city officials issued a lengthy statement.

"The Attorney General's Press Release that the City's Voter ID requirements violate State Law is inconsistent with, in fact in direct conflict with, Senator David Min's new bill attempting to make Huntington Beach's Voter ID illegal. That blatant inconsistency speaks volumes," the statement said. "The City of Huntington Beach's Voter ID and other elections measures approved by the voters on March 5th to increase voter participation by mandating at least 20 more in-person polling locations and monitoring of ballot drop boxes are not only permissible, the City's authority is provided for them in the California Constitution, Article XI, Section 5(b), for local elections."

The measure would not go into effect until elections in 2026.

 "The people of Huntington Beach have made their voices clear on this issue and the people's decision on the March 5th ballot measures for election integrity is final. To that end, the City will vigorously uphold and defend the will of the people," the city's statement concluded.

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